An Officer's Manual of the Western Front


An Officer's Manual of the Western Front cover

An Officer's Manual of the Western Front


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A compelling insight into the lives of the soldiers behind the war that not only changed the direction of world affairs but also brought with it a modernised, mechanised style of warfare.

Many people have the idea that the 'Great War' on the Western Front was simple, if ghastly, to fight – with few tactics, and unbroken, monotonous, trench lines as the main feature of the battlefield. In such a scenario the archetypal image of battle is of soldiers with rifles and bayonets charging each other in blind obedience to stupid repetitious orders.

Though undeniably bloody the war was in fact a ferment of new ideas and new weapons. Gas, flame throwers, super-heavy artillery, concrete bunkers, tanks, aircraft and other innovations were all introduced, whilst older notions such as barbed wire, machine guns and armour took on a new lease of life.

No single manual was ever enough to encompass 'modern war', and even before 1914 numerous publications were required. With the focus on the Western Front and the soldiers fighting there, this unique compendium collects together a huge variety of contemporary manuals, leaflets and booklets, and shows how although operations often failed, British commanders made attempts to devise new tactics and weaponry.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Dr Stephen Bull

1. Infantry Training, 1914, Chapter X. Infantry in Attack, pp.133-147
2. Manual of Field Engineering, reprinted 1914, Chapter V. Earthworks, pp.24-31
3. Notes From the Front, Part 1, 1914, Tactical Notes, pp.2-10
4. Notes From the Front, Part 3, 1915, pp.10-25
5. Trench Standing Orders 1915–16: 124th Infantry Brigade
6. Notes on Minor Enterprises, March 1916
7. Notes on the Tactical Employment of Machine Guns and Lewis Guns, March 1916, pp.3-19
8. Games for Use with Physical Training Tables and Training in Bombing, 1916
9. Collection of Information Regarding the Enemy, 1915–17
10. Instructions for the Training of Platoons for Offensive Action, February 1917
11. Gas Warfare Monthly Summary of Information, No. 15, September 1918


Product details

Published 25 Jul 2019
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 160
ISBN 9781472841360
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Dimensions 180 x 120 mm
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Stephen Bull

Dr Stephen Bull worked for the National Army Museu…


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